A massive manhunt is underway in upstate New York for Eugene Palmer, who is suspected of killing his daughter-in-law outside her home last Monday and fleeing to nearby Harriman State Park. NBC's Mara Schiavocampo reports.
A massive manhunt for a 73-year-old wanted for the murder of his daughter-in-law continued in upstate New York, where police are still searching for Eugene Palmer in the thick woods of a 46,000-acre state park.
Search teams including officers, dogs and a helicopter have been looking for Palmer around the clock for the past week, after his truck was found in the Harriman State Park area. Bloodhounds traced his trial to a campsite, before the trail went cold.
"The woods are too thick for a general sweep," Haverstraw Police Chief Charles Miller said last week. "There are so many places to hide ... [Or] he could have made it to a road and gotten picked up by somebody, and he could be staying elsewhere."
Eugene Palmer, of Haverstraw, is accused of killing his estranged daughter-in-law, Tammy Palmer, 39, who lived in a trailer 50 feet from his house, The New York Times reported. His sister, Elaine Babcock, said he stopped by her nearby home Monday morning, gave her money for his property taxes, and then told her that he had killed Palmer before asking her to wait an hour before calling police.
But Babcock immediately called 911, The Journal News in New York's Hudson Valley reported. Officers said a separate 911 caller heard three gunshots coming from the home; they found Tammy Palmer, who has two teenage sons with Eugene's son, dead on the ground behind her trailer, NBCNewYork.com reported.
"She doesn't deserve to be dead," Tammy's mother, Violet Pannirello, told NBC News.
Flyers are posted all over the park to inform visitors about Palmer, whom police say is armed and dangerous.
"I'm concerned, but I'm not overly terrified, but I still don't want to be outside alone, or anything," area resident Allison Potanovic told NBC News.
Tammy Palmer and John Palmer had been married for about 17 years, John Pannirello, Tammy's father, told The New York Times, but they separated five months ago, and in the past few weeks, they had been in a custody battle over the kids.
Eugene Palmer, a former truck driver, is an avid hunter who loves the outdoors. His family says he knows every inch of the woods in the area, but Palmer also has diabetes and has recently suffered a heart attack.This week, officials started sending out cadaver dogs.
"It's a very difficult place to survive. He's been out there seven days, if he is still here, he'd have to be very adaptable to these types of conditions in order to survive that long," New York State Park Police Maj. David Herrick told NBC News.
NBC's Elizabeth Chuck contributed to this report.
More content from NBCNews.com:
- Calif. governor vetoes bill that OK'd towns freeing undocumented immigrants
- Feds: Suspect in multimillion-dollar scam is Harvard law grad
- Pranked teen shines at homecoming ceremony
- Police: No foul play in missing NJ teen Kara Alongi case
- Video: Gearing up for Wednesday's big debate